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Poster: He Live's Date: Jan 23, 2008 8:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: In praise of '76

1976 was about ARRANGEMENT and PRESENTATION. this was a time of reinvention. mickey was back and the band seemed to want to offer up a more refined concert experience. i love many shows from this year and think ST STEPHEN benefitted from the slow down and the overplayed NFA got new life this year as jerry started to really stretch out the solos, and long smoldering versions were offered... presaging the monster versions that would pop up in '77.

as others sort of alluded to, this was the year imo, when donna started to sound good, started figuring out where she fit in, or rather, the new presentation style came with a more defined role for her.

i belive this was the time period when JERRY HAD FALLEN UNDER THE SPELL of the eagles and loggins & messina. obviously, he stole the slowed down arrangement of FOTD from the latter and was impressed by the very slick PRODUCTION VALUES of the eagles.

i would disagree that this was a year for "EXPERIMENTAL JAMMING".... others have cited 68-69.... i might look to the Dark Stars, Other Ones, and Playin's of late 72 and 73. BTW, 0 Dark Stars were played this year, Other One 9 times, and Playin' 14.

HOWEVER, they did have plenty of new themes to keep them busy, the rambling Wake of the Flood pastoral Dead was gone, but the most "Experimental Composition" they would ever offer up, "Help on the Way>Slipknot" was in play, the amazingly slick "Music Never Stop" was now on the menu, "Samson & Delilah" was new, and the revamped powerhouse "Let it Grow" offered some newish jamming possibilities and of course, the also newly slickified, soon to be disco "Dancin'" was hothothot this year.

they only came back in june, so 76 is a bit of a footnote, but this is where the amazing momentum was generated that would carry them through the '78, if not, the rest of the GODCHAUX years....

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Poster: gilamonster58 Date: Jan 23, 2008 9:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: In praise of '76

I don't think we really disagree. What I call "experimental jamming", you call exploring "new themes", which is probably a better description. I just found this a really interesting year overall. Of course Dark Star was a vehicle for experimental jamming but that's where you *expected* to find jamming. At the end of Comes A Time, not so much. I like surprises.